Ohio State head coach Ryan Day met with the media for roughly 15 minutes on Wednesday morning, at which time he discusses his team’s final preparations ahead of this weekend’s Spring Game, the continuing battle between quarterbacks Justin Fields and Matthew Baldwin, the team’s most improved players and more.
Here’s a brief recap of what he had to say:
- Day said he wants to focus on continuous growth from the spring to fall camp, which is why they’re not in a rush to name starters. “We always want to have competition. Competition is really good because that drives guys to get better.”
- Day said former quarterback Dwayne Haskins did not plan to attend the NFL Draft, as he plans to spend the weekend with his family back home. Defensive end Nick Bosa was the only Buckeye invited to the event, which will be held in Nashville April 25-27.
- Day said there will be no tackling during the Spring Game on Saturday due to risk of injury. “Tackling in the spring is not a very good thing right now.”
- Day said the quarterback run will be a bigger part of the Buckeyes’ offense this season, which hints toward sophomore Justin Fields having the edge for the starting quarterback position.
- Day said redshirt freshman running back Master Teague has been dealing with a nagging injury, while early enrollee Marcus Crowley has “really shined” this spring in the battle for backup tailback. Fourth-year junior Demario McCall hasn’t practiced at all.
- Day mentions early enrollee wide receiver Garrett Wilson, redshirt sophomore cornerback/safety Shaun Wade and safety sophomore Josh Proctor as players who have impressed through 13 practices this spring.
- Day calls Saturday’s Spring Game a “big opportunity” and “huge selling point” as recruits get to see what a game day is like in Columbus.
- Asked about how to balance the responsibility of a huge recruiting weekend and game day, Day said, “That’s part of being a head coach.”
- Day said he’s impressed with Fields’ football IQ, ability to retain information and his “tremendous” physical traits. “His size, his ability to move, he has a strong arm, but also he has good intangibles.”
- Day said he doesn’t plan to set a two-deep depth chart until fall camp, and that he will have the final say in all depth chart decisions. He believes the staff will be on the same page regardless.
- Day has raved about Wilson on numerous occasions this spring, but said he needs to improve his blocking ability. Ohio State places a lot of emphasis on that for both receivers and running backs.
- Day said offensive tackle Thayer Munford, defensive tackle Robert Landers, linebacker Tuf Borland, cornerback Marcus Williamson and safety Jordan Fuller won’t play on Saturday. Added that they’ll make decisions on a few others (like receiver Chris Olave, who suffered a hamstring injury last week) in the coming days.
- Day said offensive tackle Nicholas Petit-Frere has improved considerably this spring. “Is he perfect? No. Is he ready yet? No. But he’s close.”
- There will be no Spring Game draft, as Day wants to see “good on good.” Several players will wear two-way jerseys so they can play on both the Scarlet and Gray teams. Players like defensive end Chase Young, who have lots of experience, will come out of the game early.
- Ohio State will host a coaches clinic this week, and Day said he really wants to show Ohio coaches how important they are to the program, as well as teach and share camaraderie.
- “I think he’s building his confidence every day,” Day said of redshirt freshman quarterback Matthew Baldwin. “I think the best practices he’s had is probably the last four or five.” Also praised his loyalty in an age where quarterbacks seemingly transfer to find immediate playing time. “He’s a Buckeye, and that’s important. That’s really important to our team.”
- Spring Game will consisted of 10 minute quarters, and a running clock in the second half.